Similar to many European countries, the city of Beirut, Lebanon, launched a bike sharing station, the first of its kind in the whole country. The station, located in the downtown area, is a prototype that offers five bikes and came about after a collaboration between Jawad Sbeity, the governor of Beirut (Ziad Chebib) and Beirut’s municipality.

The number of stations will eventually increase to 25 and include a total of 500 bikes, Sbeity highlighted in a Facebook post. Payment options for the system include prepaid subscription cards, bank cards and student cards. Cash is not viable due to fear of theft.

Beirut Bike Sharing

Beirut Bike Station at Night (Jawad Sbeity)

Infrastructural changes will include the addition of several bike lanes in the Lebanese city. Beirut Governor Issam Kaskas told The Daily Star: ” [A] lane will be made for bikers, but we are studying whether it will be on the left or right-hand side [of the road].”

“This is a healthy, environmentally friendly, economical and touristic project… if it succeeds, it can be used across the entire nation,” Kaskas added. “The project was originally aimed at helping university students to get to and from classes without having to drive their cars and deal with the hassle of parking.”

The initiative in Lebanon coincides with a newly-announced bike sharing project launched in Dubai. The city’s master developer Nakheel is developing 105 km of bike lanes with an investment of $40.8 million.